Huge news that will affect the blog!

This is a big announcement but…this is my job now. I know, right? Terrifying, but necessary. As much as I loved my job as a family counsellor, I was done. The events over the last eighteen months –  (in chronological order, not by importance) being bumped from my job into a part time position, losing my beloved Blondie dog, losing my mom, and losing my favourite supervisor (to another agency, fortunately), and so many things that feel like I’m being kicked when I’m down – have been harder than I can describe, and I just didn’t have it in me to go back to such an emotionally challenging position.

What does it mean for me that it’s my job? It means this is my job, this is how I make money. Writing the blog, writing Patreon posts, writing e-books and e-zines, writing my column at Handmade magazine, teaching classes at Voyageur Soap & Candle and Windy Point Soap, presenting at conferences like the HSCG one next May in Atlanta and the HBBG and HSCG joint conference next June in Toronto, and so on. I have no other obligations, so I can spend all my energy and time writing about bath & body products, which is very exciting.

There are also a lot of things I’ve been working on over the last year or so that can become a reality. Yay, right?

What does it mean for you that it’s my job? It means that this is how I make my living now. If you value what I’m offering here, please consider subscribing to my Patreon feed at $1, $3, $5, or $10 US to help support the blog as well as my family.

It also means that Patreon subscribers may get the posts on the blog one to four weeks before you see them here. They may also get other things that might not appear on the blog – they’re already getting the duplicated formula every month – but I’m not sure how that might look or what it might be, if it’s anything at all.

Before you cry “unfair!” – they’re paying the bills for the blog, so it’s only fair they get to see what they paid for first. 

What it doesn’t mean is that I’ll be taking advertising, sponsorshop, or affiliate links as I want you to rest assured when I say I like an ingredient, I really like it, I haven’t been paid to say I do, and I won’t make money if I send you to a supplier to get it. (I also don’t want those horrible “one weird trick coconut oil” ads, which are just awful and undercut my promise to you to be science based and not fearmonger-y.)

It also doesn’t change where the money for the five current e-books goes – it still goes to our youth programs, Rated T for Teen.

And it does mean I’m asking for something from you – your time.

I love writing this blog so much, but I get very little feedback in the form of comments. I see you’re out there in so many ways – stats from the blog and email subscriptions, raves from you when I meet you, comments I see on Facebook or Reddit, and so on – but there’s just crickets and silence day to day around here.

I know part of this is because there are tens of thousands of you receiving this information I’m writing now via email, and it’s a hassle to visit the blog. I know part of this is because some of you don’t think you have anything to share, but you really do! I know part of it is that you’re really busy and don’t have time to visit, something I heard time and time again from people at conferences and in classes. And sadly, I know a small part of this is because some people never think to give back to those who have shared so freely with you, which is how people like me burn out, take our balls, and go home.

I don’t want to burn out, but after the year I’ve had – from Marlene Daniels of Soapconscious stealing my work and selling it for $1,000 for my five e-books for years to the constant linking against my wishes to my charts to the people who think it’s okay to use my work without asking permission or without credit, and more –  I know I’m at great risk to do so.

I miss is being a part of a community of creators, connecting with people who love this thing as much as I do, and I’m really feeling the isolation when I look for a place to recharge my batteries.

From today onwards, think of every single post – new and old – as a tiny Kickstarter type thing that needs your attention to unlock the next installment. If you see part one of a post, you won’t see part two until there’s a certain amount of interaction in the form of comments. If there isn’t that interaction after a week, it won’t be posted as I’ll assume you aren’t interested that topic, ingredient, or formula. For older posts, if I see a topic that’s suddenly filled with comments or feedback, I’ll make sure I spend time on that topic again in the future. 

You don’t have to say much – share a thought about the topic; something you love or hate about the oil, emulsifier, or surfactant; write about your experiences; tell me about the fail you had with it so we can fix it; think about how you might make substitutions; and so much more – but I’m asking you to say something. The only rule – as of this moment – is that you must do it with kindness, with an understanding that every single person who reads it, including me, is a human being who has feelings. We can totally disagree, but we do it as adults without condescension or insults.

I’m sure there are loads of you waiting to say something about this post, and I can’t wait to see what you share!